Up to the year 1901 the iron and steel industry of Canada was of little importance, but it has now come to the front as the land of new enterprises of considerable magnitude. An extensive system of industries, of which a steel works is only a part, is developing on the Canadian side of the Sault, "between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The Bessemer plant connected with this latter enterprise consists of two six-ton converters and was started in February, 1902. It is the intention to use charcoal for fuel in the blast furnace, this charcoal being supplied from the waste in the lumbering operations conducted by the company. If this plan is found to be economical, and it is by no means- out of the question, this will be the only place in the world, except in Sweden and the Urals, where a large steel plant is run on charcoal iron. During the summer of 1902 and up to the time of writing, the plant has been closed on account of financial difficulties, and the future is uncertain.
Another plant is on different lines and presents points of interest to the'metallurgist. The Dominion Iron and Steel Company has built a steel works at Sydney, Cape Breton, at which point the company owns very extensive fields of rich coal. The coal varies considerably and some beds are high in sulphur, so that for the production of coke it has been found necessary to wash the coal. Table XXXII-A shows the composition of the raw material as publicly stated by the management.
The ore, which goes by the name of Wabana,, comes from. Great Bell Island in Conception Bay, Newfoundland, about 35 miles from St. Johns, and about 400 miles from the steel plant at Sydney. It is easily mined, being in well-defined thin layers and of a brittle nature, but is not of the best quality. It will give a pig-iron running about 1.5 per cent, in phosphorus, which is rather low for basic Bessemer practice and rather high for an open-hearth furnace.